Getting the Dog Accustomed the Muzzle
The muzzle is something that is an essential tool for protection training, but can also be useful for the average house pet. Many dog owners complain about their dogs chewing and tearing up everything in the house and a muzzle can be a simple solution until the dog is trained to not chew on inappropriate items.
There are 2 main types of muzzles. One type of muzzle prevents the dog from completely opening its mouth. It allows just enough space for the dog to be able to stick its tongue out to pant and drink water. The other type of muzzle, which I prefer, is more like a basket that covers the entire snout. There is enough space for the dog to open its mouth wide and holes in the muzzle for plenty of airflow and the ability to drink. For the house pet, Jafco makes a plastic muzzle that inexpensive and very good.
The problem with the muzzle is that most dogs will constantly try to remove it as soon as you put it on. They are unaccustomed to something being strapped onto their face and head. So, make sure to do the following steps to properly introduce the muzzle.
1. Place food and treats in the muzzle. Get the dog to voluntary put its mouth in the muzzle. This also causes the dog to association the muzzle with something very positive.
2. Once you have used food for a while, you can slowly begin to have your dog get accustomed to the muzzle without food. Place the muzzle on your dog for about 5 seconds and then take it off. Wait a while and then repeat again. After this has been repeated a few times, keep doing it, but slowly begin to add a few seconds each time your dog is wearing the muzzle. Make sure you take long breaks between putting the muzzle on.
3. When the dog can wear the muzzle slightly longer, put the muzzle on and engage in an activity that forces the dog to focus on something other than the muzzle. You can do obedience. Go run with your dog. Put the muzzle on when your dog is about to fall asleep. Have your dog play with another dog. Dogs cannot focus on 2 things at once.
This will begin to get your dog accustomed to wearing the muzzle for long periods of time. If introduced properly the dog will be able to wear the muzzle without constantly trying to remove it.